Many robots designed to operate on or in water are destined to serve in military, naval, and homeland security capacities. Others are aimed at scientific exploration and data gathering, such as monitoring marine ecosystems and gathering data about water quality. Some of the plainer ones are remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), underwater unmanned vehicles (UUVs), or autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs): the naval versions of their unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) counterparts. Others look like fish, jellyfish, or submarines.
Whether they navigate the salty seas or fresh water lakes, rivers, or oceans, many models can do a number of different types of tasks, depending on their payloads. Robots made to work in water are usually designed to be either remote-controlled or autonomous, and some can even switch from one mode to another.
Click on the image below to see 12 of these underwater workers.
The Serpent remotely operated vehicle (ROV) from Seaview Systems is designed for exploring very small-diameter pipelines. It can investigate conduits as small as 9 inches (23 cm) in diameter, and fit around bends with a radius as narrow as 27 inches (68.5 cm). Measuring 9 inch x 9 inch x 57 inch (23 cm x 23 cm x 145 cm) and weighing 70 lb (32 kg), the Serpent runs on two 300W brushless DC motors that give it a total forward thrust of 18 lb (8 kg). With a 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) diameter fiber-optic tether, it can explore as far as 6,000 ft (1,830 m) down a pipe or tunnel. A 360-degree pan/orbit/zoom color camera and two color cameras are included, along with two 70W high-intensity LEDs. The robot also has heading, pitch and roll, and depth sensors, as well as sonar. A fiber-optic telemetry system provides up to three video channels, four RS232 channels, and two RS485 channels. (Source: Seaview Systems)
William, I wasn't sure where your (usually) straightforward statements ended and tongue-in-cheek started, either. Re Google, I know what you mean: it's getting harder and harder to find good basic info instead of commercial/sales info. But that result was predicted when the Internet became commercialized.
Ann, it was not completely clear when things turned, so you did a good one on me. About Google; I have had quite a bit of serious frustration when attempting to find information about some product or system and the dumb google search instead turns up a hundred sites that want to sell me one, even if they don't have it and have no concept of what it is. At that point it becomes a first rate time waster.
But on the other topic, while invisibility in the normal sense is a big challenge, being un-noticed is a lot simpler, hence the comment about the missile launching dolphin and such. Consider how easy it would be for you to pass somebody by if a whole crowd were wearing AnnThryft masks. Spotting the real one is a challenge if they all look similar.
Ann, OK, that makes sense. Of course a missile launching fish would be a very interesting creature. Probably we could train a school of dolphin to escort a missile launching robot dolphin, giving it a nearly perfect cover. The main hazard would be poachers. Perhaps DARPA would be interested in that concept, which just popped into my head. I am not at all familiar with the DARPA dolphin program and have never heard of "Freddy the Fish".
Design collaboration now includes the entire value chain. From suppliers to customers, purchasing to outside experts, the collaborative design team includes internal and external groups. The design process now stretches across the globe in multiple software formats.
We're talking a look at 10 of the coolest technologies being developed by the US military today. In addition to saving lives on the battlefield, don't be surprised if you see some of these in your daily life some time in the near future.
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